Moving, The Great Creative Diversion

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We’ve moved!  That is what has taken up all my creative energy this past year.  The short story is: we jumped on an opportunity to downsize and move into a custom home/condo in our favorite part of town.  We had been talking about making a move for years, but had no specific plans.  One weekend we went to an Open House for a brand new development, just for the heck of it, truly not expecting anything and we fell in love. And before we knew it we were building a new town home.

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So, I spent the last year getting our home ready to sell and planning the new place.  That process pretty much sucked all the creative energy I had.  Now I am thrilled to say we have finished construction, moved in and sold our last house.   It was a busy year, but it was so very worth it.  We wake up every morning thrilled to be in our new home.   I am still finishing the last details here, unpacking, hanging pictures and figuring out what goes where.  I am itching to get back to making jewelry and I am dying to try out some non-jewelry ideas.

My studio is the last big unfinished detail.  We opted to finish the painting and flooring for the studio after the move.  All of that is almost finished and I hope to start moving things in to the studio later this week.  Right now it looks like a glorious new space full of possibilities.

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Now we just have to sort through all of this mess.

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The basement ended up in a crazy jumble of boxes and furniture. Items from the studio, E’s boxes from college, excess furniture, etc etc. all piled up together.  It’s going to be quite a project to get the studio set up, and sort and organize the rest of the stuff in the basement.  I can’t wait to get started.  Most of all I can’t wait to start working in the studio.

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The Aha! Moment

It was a slow week last week.  M was sick with ear infections and needed me nearby as nurse/mom.  The week was a blur of hanging out with M, watching dvds, reading and wasting time online.  Consequently, I didn’t get any studio time and I didn’t really feel like blogging.

For some reason today I started thinking about my “Aha!” moment.  That was the moment when something clicked between my head, my hands and my heart and I realized polymer clay was “it” for me.

I started playing around with polymer clay some time in 2001.  I’d get together with one of my crafty friends and we’d try different things, often sparked by something on the Carol Duvall Show.  One day we covered pens with polymer clay.  The we tried some simple caning.  I had made a pile of Christmas ornaments with Fimo around 1992, but I put it away after that and barely thought about it.

Something clicked that one day with my friend.  I started searching the internet for information on polymer clay and tried a ton of tutorials.  Around that time I called my husband at work said “This is it!  This is what I want to DO.  This is the material that sings to me.”

I have often wondered why this material and why that particular moment?  I grew up doing crafty things.  I was the youngest of three children by a span of 7 years.  I remember my mother giving me a craft project book and I spent a lot of time working on projects that appealed to me.  I took pottery lessons for several years.  During my junior high and high school years I explored batik, egg dying, soft sculpture, silk screening and calligraphy.  Over the summers I took workshops at the Farmington Valley Art Center.  I loved it all, but nothing ever clicked.

Then one day almost 25 years later, I had that “Aha!” momet.  Anyone else have a moment like that?

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Running up a dune

I feel like I am running up a sand hill these days, slogging along and not making any discernible progress. The retreat is just a couple of days away. Marvelous donations from the generous community of polymer clay artists continue to arrive. I’m trying to get the last details of the areas I’m responsible for all organized and ready to go. Family life marches on with swim meets and camp and new neighbors moving in and all sorts of other stuff.

Half of the donations for the retreat raffle laid out.  They need to be checked and labeled.

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The plans to make a quantity of fun new work before the retreat have fizzled. The plan to work on some sort of exciting project for Progress & Possibilities have stalled. All I can say is thank heaven for central air conditioning because if I was sweltering in this heat and dealing with things, I’d be a puddle of ineffective goo.

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That’s a pile of box bezels in need of bails, finishing and polymer clay inserts, none of which is likely to happen before Friday morning.

Oh well, back to my lists.

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All that other stuff

I’ve been caught up in miscellaneous family stuff and haven’t managed to get into the studio for several days.  It’s the typical ebb and flow of the family life versus creative life struggle.  My brain keeps busy in the background with design ideas etc., but my hands are taking a break.  My sister came for a short visit (yeah!), and there have been several trips out to the corner of the state for camp pickups with the girls.  M’s session of camp ended and E’s home for a quick overnight and doctor’s appointment before I take her back to camp to work another session.  It’s a weird combination of busy and not busy.

Studio time will have to be in shorter blocks of time again as M and I settle into the routine of swim team practices and all that jazz.  Regrouping and refocusing creative energy during these kind of seasonal shifts always gets me off track for a bit.  I am planning to work on making some simple metal bases when I next manage some studio time.  That’s pretty mindless work.  Mindless work is great when I’ve got lots of stops and starts.  I’d like to make some more basic canes, spirals, stripes and bullseyes in different colors, but I’m thinking I need something more mindless first.

Boxes are pretty basic.  Or circle pendant shapes.  Basic sawing and forming.  Minimal soldering.  I’ll let you know how it works out.

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